Singapore Sprint Race top three driver quotes

Singapore Sprint Race top three driver quotes

Van der Garde, Ericsson and Leimer discuss the race

GP2 Series: Giedo, congratulations on a great win today: you've been close to the action all year, so this win must be pretty important for you and the team?

Giedo van der Garde: Yeah, it means a lot. From the start I knew it would be hard because they have only one year's experience, and last year they were struggling a bit and up and down, and towards the end they were not so strong. Since I arrived I think we changed so much on the car, and through the season it has got better and better.  The last three weekends I think I've had a car that is good for the top three to five, but the luck wasn't there: I got hit in Spa, in Monza I had a problem with a sensor at the start, so you lose a lot of valuable points. But this win makes everything right!

GP2 Series: The conditions are pretty extreme today: how was it in the car?

Giedo: It was okay: we started off in the rain [in free practice], which was quite funny for here because you don't expect that, and it was going well, but in the dry we were struggling with the first set but the second set was really fast until the red, when I was on a flyer to be P3 or P4, and in the end I was P14 so it was a disaster! Yesterday I fought a lot with Calado and the other guys to get to P8. Today we had a really good car, and me and Ericsson were by far the fastest, so we deserved the win and second place.

GP2 Series: He was running with you throughout: any pressure there?

Giedo: I had a good start and the opening laps were really fast and I just said let's go for it, let's see what happens towards the end of the race, but I was controlling it: at the restart it's not easy to do here because the safety car is going so slow that you lose a lot of tyre heat and brake heat, so when I restarted I had no grip and I nearly went off in the last corner! But I saw that Ericsson was struggling even more, so it was okay [laughs]

GP2 Series: So overall a challenging year where you were trying to help to build the team, but you've finished sixth in the championship: does that give you any satisfaction?

Giedo: Yes. To be honest in the beginning we lost a lot of points compared to Razia and Valsecchi, but we caught some back in the middle of the season, and in the end we had a fast car. We were just unlucky, and that's a pity but I'm quite happy with the result and as a person at the moment, because I learned a lot technically with the team, and through the last 4 years I became a better person, much more controllable [laughs], and you pick up experience: I think I learned a lot as a driver. So everybody's happy: I'm happy, the team's happy, so let's go to have a good night!


GP2 Series: Marcus, another podium and a good drive to continue the good work in the latter stages of the season: does this banish the bad luck from earlier in the year?

Marcus Ericsson: Yeah, it's been a bad year really, and I was hoping to be fighting for the championship and be in the top three here in Singapore, but that's the way motorsport is: it's never easy, and we had a bad start to the season and had to play catch up all the time. It's not been great, but I think my form and the team's form has been very, very strong at the end of the season, and that means a lot: the last 3 weekends after the break I think I might have taken the most points of everyone, so we can be happy about that.

GP2 Series: You had a good start today and could run with Giedo, but it looked like you just couldn't get close enough to attack: is that about right?

Marcus: I was really focused on the start because I wanted to get them into turn one: Giedo is a good starter, very experienced, he did a good start and I did a good start as well but I had to defend a bit from Razia, who had a flyer. After that Giedo for the first 10 laps was pushing really hard, and I didn't want to kill my tyres because I knew it was going to be a long race, but I didn't want to let him go either so it was sort of halfway: I let him go a little bit but I still pushed a bit as well. I think I did alright because I had tyres at the end, but not enough to make a move on Giedo: it was all decided in the start really, and if I'd got P1 there I think I could have won it. But second is a good result in a weekend that started really bad for me when I qualified 17th, so well done to Giedo and we should be happy with second.

GP2 Series: How difficult were the conditions today?

Marcus: I was expecting when I came here that this was going to be the toughest race weekend of the year, because obviously racing in the afternoon in this heat, on a street track with bumps and kerbs, it's always very tough physically. I prepared myself for a real struggle, but actually it was better than I expected: it was good that I prepared for the worst because when I got here I could say oh, it's not that bad! [laughs]


GP2 Series: Fabio congratulations on a great race, and in particular a great last lap: how was it for you in the car?

Fabio Leimer: It was a really nice race, because I started from P6 and it's a sprint race but my aim was to be on the podium, so I had to do a really nice start: I did it and was nearly P3, but Razia overtook me again so I was P4. Van der Garde and Ericsson were pushing a lot, and I thought maybe they will struggle at the end so I was just saving my tyres, and Razia was the same. Then one or two laps before the safety car I saw that Ericsson was struggling a bit more and we were closing the gap, but then the safety car came out and it helped him a bit because they could cool down their tyres. In the end my aim was just to get past Razia, and I saw that he was struggling more and more, and on the last lap I tried it and in the end it worked! It was a really hard race, really hot, but it was the right decision to wait and overtake at the end.

GP2 Series: Another podium to round out the season, six in total: does that go anyway to make up for the lost wins?

Fabio: In the end I'm really happy about this third place, but third is not first place and there are two drivers in front of me! I'm happy, but not as happy as if I won the race! I think it's really important for the team that we are really quick and got these podiums because we worked really hard this year, and we were one of the quickest all the time but we were so unlucky with the penalty and the safety car in Silverstone: we lost the championship there. I think I could fight with Valsecchi and Razia for the championship, so on one hand I'm happy for what we've had this year, but on the other side I'm disappointed because I know from the speed we had that I could have fought for the top.

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